Bits & Bytes: 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival; ‘The Intimate Bach;’ ‘Spamalot’ at Berkshire School; ‘Lovers’ Spat’ at Shakespeare & Co.; Talk & Listen group

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By Tuesday, Feb 14 Arts & Entertainment  1 Comment
Keith Perry
Fireworks at First Street Common celebrate a previous 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival in Pittsfield. This year's festival will kick off Thursday, Feb 16.

10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival to celebrate sixth anniversary

Actors Peggy Pharr Wilson and Matt Neely have appeared in all of Barrington Stage Company's 10x10 New Play Festivals. Photo: Kevin Sprague

Actors Peggy Pharr Wilson and Matt Neely have appeared in all of Barrington Stage Company’s 10×10 New Play Festivals. Photo: Kevin Sprague

Pittsfield — Organized by the City of Pittsfield’s Office of Cultural Development and Barrington Stage Company, the sixth annual 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival will feature more than 50 events and highlight dozens of artists, actors, musicians, playwrights and performers. The festival will kick off on Thursday, Feb. 16, with three events: “10 Spot: Photography,” a dual exhibition at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts and Sohn Fine Art Gallery in Lenox featuring 10 pieces from 10 photographers from around the country; “Through the Historic Lens: 10 Pittsfield Perspectives,” a collaborative exhibit between the Berkshire Historical Society and the Berkshire Athenaeum; and the first preview night of Barrington Stage’s 10X10 New Play Festival.

Marsha Parrilla of Danza Organica. Photo: Ernesto Galán

Marsha Parrilla of Danza Organica. Photo: Ernesto Galán

Jacob’s Pillow will join the festival this year for the first time on Friday, Feb. 24, at 4 p.m. Danza Organica will lead a Dance for Social Justice Movement Workshop for youth, teens and adults. All levels are welcome and a lecture/demonstration performance will follow the workshop. WordXWord will offer two events: “10 New Voices” at the Berkshire Museum on Monday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. and the first annual 10×10 Invitational Poetry Slam on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. at the Whitney Center for the ArtsDottie’s Coffee Lounge will host the “10×10 Chairity: Take a Seat!” event on Friday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. featuring upcycled chairs by artists including Marguerite Bride, Jan Charbonneau, Diane Firtell, Scott Taylor and others. Dottie’s will also host the 10×10 Comedy Show on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m. Berkshire Yoga Dance and Fitness and Berkshire Running Center will bring fitness to the Festival with free yoga and group runs. The free, community wide 10 Minutes of Fireworks will return to the Common on First Street at dusk on Saturday, Feb. 25.

'Reclaimed Osterich' by Denise Tarantino.

‘Reclaimed Osterich’ by Denise Tarantino.

Other returning highlights of the festival include Dance Ten, a performance showcase of 10 community dance groups and schools from throughout the Berkshires who will perform at Barrington Stage on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 3 p.m.; the 10×10 Real Art Party fundraiser organized by Berkshire Art Association on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. at the Berkshire Museum followed by PechaKucha night; Ten Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum; Berkshire Theatre Group‘s “Danny Dollar Millionaire” at the Berkshire Museum during school vacation week; a Berkshires Jazz performance at Flavours of Malaysia and Berkshire International Film Festival shorts at the Beacon Cinema.

–E.E.

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CEWM to present ‘The Intimate Bach’

Kivie Cahn-Lipman. Photo: Armen Elliott

Kivie Cahn-Lipman. Photo: Armen Elliott

Great Barrington — On Saturday, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m., Close Encounters With Music will present “The Intimate Bach,” a midwinter fireside concert, at Saint James Place.

Three of the sublime unaccompanied suites that have taken dances from the courts of Europe and lifted them to the most spiritual realm will be presented in contrasting modern and historical approaches on modern cello and its earlier cousin the Baroque cello. The Bach suites will be performed alternately by CEWM’s artistic director Yehuda Hanani and Kivie Cahn-Lipman, founding cellist of the International Contemporary Ensemble and director of the period instrument ensemble ACRONYM.

Yehuda Hanani.

Yehuda Hanani.

Equally at home between the two bookends of music history, Cahn-Lipman has served on the faculties of Smith and Mount Holyoke colleges and has recorded on the Naxos, Bridge, Tzadik and Nonesuch labels. As a chamber musician, he has performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and Rose Theater, and other major venues on three continents. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oberlin College and the Juilliard School and received his doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Hanani, who provides incisive commentary at each CEWM concert, has been a guest soloist with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as well as many more in the U.S. and on four continents.

Tickets are $35. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact CEWM at (800) 843-0778 or cewmusic@aol.com.

–E.E.

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The cast of Berkshire School's production of 'Spamalot.'

The cast of Berkshire School’s production of ‘Spamalot.’

Berkshire School to stage ‘Spamalot’

Sheffield — Berkshire School’s theater department will present its winter production, the Tony Award-winning musical “Spamalot” by Eric Idle and John Du Prez, on Thursday, Feb. 16; Friday, Feb. 17; and Saturday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the school’s Allen Theater.

Winner of three Tony Awards including best musical for the 2004-2005 season, “Spamalot” was lovingly borrowed from the 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” by Monty Python mainstay Idle and composer Du Prez. The wacky musical features local students Matt Diamond of Great Barrington; Isabelle Maher and Ana Tolvo of Sheffield; Catherine Quaintance of Lakeville, Connecticut; Ken Sperl of Chatham, New York; and a number of local musicians, technicians and artists.

There is a $2 suggested donation at the door. For more information, call Berkshire School at (413) 229-8511.

–E.E.

*     *     *

‘Lovers Spat: Shakespeare’s Famous Couples’ Encounters’

MaConnia Chesser.

MaConnia Chesser.

Lenox — Shakespeare & Company will present “Lovers’ Spat: Shakespeare’s Famous Couples’ Encounters” on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 19, at 2 p.m. in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre.

Tamara Hickey.

Tamara Hickey.

“Lovers’ Spat” will feature Company actors and guest performers exploring the complexities of love in staged readings featuring Shakespeare’s famous couples loving, fighting, scheming and wooing. “Lovers’ Spat” is directed by artistic director Allyn Burrows. The performance will include scenes between Shakespearean characters Beatrice and Benedict, Oberon and Titania, Romeo and Juliet, Hermia and Lysander, Kate and Hotspur, Kate and Petruchio, Richard and Lady Anne and more. Comedian Kevin Bartini will serve as emcee, and the cast will feature Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Jason Asprey, Allyn Burrows, MaConnia Chesser, Tamara Hickey, David Joseph and others.

Tickets are $25 general admission and $10 for students. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Shakespeare & Company box office at (413) 637-3353.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Rainbow Seniors launches Talk & Listen groups

Berkshire County — Rainbow Seniors of Berkshire County has announced the launch of its Talk & Listen groups, which are confidential group conversations focused on living life as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender elders. Topics will be suggested by participants and the discussions will be moderated by facilitators so everyone has a chance to be heard. The first T&L group will begin on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. and will continue on the third Saturday of every month. To learn more, contact Ed at (413) 441-6006 or ed@rainbowseniors.org.

–E.E.


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One Comment   Add Comment

  1. Bernie says:

    Berkshire County has quite the immigrant history and current presence.
    Today is the national A Day Without Immigrants Strike.
    In Solidarity, Bernie will not attend the 10X10 kick-off events scheduled for today.

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